On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging them to immediately consider and pass his resolution condemning human rights violations in Communist China and urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the 2022 Games out of China, where more than one million Uyghurs are being held in concentration camps while the people of Hong Kong are being arrested and denied the basic rights they were promised.
Scott wrote the following:
Dear Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:
Thank you for your work to promote human rights and support freedom around the world. As Americans, we understand the value and importance of freedom and liberty in our everyday lives, and it is our duty to support those oppressed by dictators and denied the right to live their lives freely.
One of the most egregious violations of human rights is happening right now in Communist China. Under General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi, one million Uyghurs have been placed in concentration camps simply because of their religion. The Xi regime is reportedly performing forced abortions and forced sterilization of Uyghur women and harvesting organs from Uyghurs and members of the Falun Gong. The Communist Party of China is also assigning male Han Chinese to regularly sleep in the same beds as the wives of Uyghur men detained in the camps.
In addition to these disgusting human rights abuses, the Communist Party of China is stripping away the freedom and autonomy the people of Hong Kong were guaranteed under the handover of 1997. They are threatening Taiwan, building up their military to compete with us, arresting and detaining foreign journalists and punishing anyone who disagrees with them.
It is our duty, and the duty of freedom-loving nations around the world, to say that what General Secretary Xi is doing to his people will not be tolerated. As long as General Secretary Xi continues on this indefensible course, Communist China should absolutely not be rewarded with the 2022 Olympic Games.
Last week, I spoke on the Senate floor to ask unanimous consent to pass my bipartisan resolution with Senator Markey (S.Res. 526) to condemn Communist China’s gross human rights violations and demand that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) host the games in a country that respects fundamental human rights. I greatly appreciate Chairman Risch’s willingness to work with me to bring this important resolution directly to the Senate floor. Standing up for human rights transcends politics, and my resolution should have unanimously passed the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, Senator Menendez blocked it, claiming the resolution needed to be considered during a Committee Business Meeting, and instead tried to pass an unrelated bill on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Ironically, this TPS measure (H.R. 549) has not been considered by the Judiciary Committee.
I’ve long called for a solution to reform the TPS program and grant TPS to Venezuelans fleeing the murderous Maduro regime. I have spent months trying to work with the Ranking Member on this very issue. Instead of committing to work with me, he tried to pass his unrelated proposal, arguing that the Olympics resolution needed to be considered in the Foreign Relations Committee before it could be passed.
I understand the Ranking Member prefers that resolutions receive committee consideration, and I welcome a Business Meeting that considers my resolution. But given that this policy is not uniformly enforced, including Senator Menendez’s own S.Res. 150, commemorating the Armenian Genocide, which passed without committee consideration, I ask for your support to pass this resolution unanimously on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
I know you stand with me in the fight for human rights and for those oppressed by ruthless dictators around the world, and I look forward to passing my resolution to condemn Communist China’s behavior and urge the IOC to find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games.